Private Equity Intelligence, a financial information provider, has launched what it says is the first comprehensive private equity performance database.
The database, called Performance Analyst, provides internal rates of return, value multiples and other financial information on more than 1,100 private equity partnerships worldwide. Users, who have to subscribe to the service, may view performance information on a single fund, or compare a group of funds, selected by strategy, vintage year, region or firm.
Private Equity Intelligence, with offices in California and London, was founded by Mark O’Hare and Nick Arnott, two data services entrepreneurs who in 1993 founded Citywatch, the UK provider of share ownership information which was acquired by Reuters in 1998. In 2000, the two founded Virtual Trader, a stock market trading simulation provider.
The two saw an opportunity to assemble performance information on private equity funds as a number of public sector investors in the US came under pressure to reveal their investments in private equity. With such heavyweight limited partners such as CalPERS, UTIMCO and CalSTRS being obliged under the US Freedom of Information act to reveal investment data to any party requesting it, O'Hare saw an opportunity to use the Act to extract fund data from these investors. Private Equity Intelligence says that it has collected performance data from several hundred sources in the US and Europe. The service will not provide information on underlying portfolio companies.
In a statement on its Web site, the founders of Private Equity Intelligence set out the need for transparency in private equity: “Current and potential investors have a legitimate need for consistent, like-for-like information on the performance of partnerships and GP groups. As standards of disclosure in other asset classes improve, so the requirement among investors and trustees for consistent, impartial information on the private equity market will continue to grow.”